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More Suspense FAQS

Can we obtain fingerprints from a subject on probation?

Fingerprinting a subject is permitted under Minnesota Statutes §299C.10 and is highly probable if the subject is currently on probation and reports in to their probation officer. You can find Fingerprint Request Forms under the Resources section of this website. It is helpful to establish a relationship with probation agency staff regarding fingerprint collection assistance.  For example, you could send out a periodic email saying ‘here is a list of subjects on probation in our county for whom fingerprints are needed.  If any are your clients….’ This approach would involve some groundwork with other agencies, but can be a big time-saver when you’re seeking prints.

Can any of the key linking identifiers (Name, Date of Birth, OCA or CAG) be changed on the arrest record?

A law enforcement agency can modify the OCA and ORI of the Controlling Agency (CAG) on the Livescan as long as no modifications have been made via the Criminal History System (CHS) or by BCA staff. Using CHS, an agency can edit an arrest record which they control or have been granted inter-agency access to. If information needs to be modified or deleted in the identification segment of the criminal history record, authorized users may request changes using the BCA Ident Change Request link accessed from CHS. To request a modification or deletion of data not on the form, click on the Request BCA Arrest Changes link accessed from CHS.

How do counties decide which CAG and OCA to use with task forces, State Patrol and DNR cases?

Task forces should create a policy in cooperation with law enforcement agencies to decide the CAG and the ORI to use on Initial Complaint Records (ICR). The case number (OCA) should always be assigned by the CAG before an individual is booked (fingerprinted). The CAG should maintain a file containing ICRs, follow-up reports and forms used to establish a paper trail as to who owns the case. The law enforcement agency or the task force should also ensure that the prosecutor uses the specific data elements submitted to their office on the complaint form because that is the basis for data entered into the corresponding court record and disposition.

What qualifies a record to be marked as "Unsupported"?

Before a suspense record can be marked as “unsupported by fingerprints,” the Controlling Agency (CAG) must attest that they have attempted to obtain fingerprints for the offense in suspense using all options available to them by statute and cannot obtain fingerprints due to one or more of the reasons listed below. Agencies must retain documentation to support the decision to mark the suspense record as unsupported by fingerprints. Documentation must be made available for auditing purposes.

  • The prosecutor declined to motion the court for prints (based on various reasons, including: person moved out of state, offense not serious enough to warrant the resources needed to get prints, whereabouts of person unknown, not enough information to make a showing to the court, etc.). Documentation includes a letter, memo, email or notes from a conversation between the CAG and their city or county attorney’s office stating that they will not pursue fingerprints for the offense in suspense.
  • The prosecutor motioned the court for an order for fingerprinting, but the court denied the motion. Documentation includes a court order, letter, memo, email or notes from a conversation between the Controlling Agency (CAG) and their city or county attorney’s office stating that the court would not grant the motion for fingerprinting.
  • Subject is deceased. Documentation includes a copy of the death certificate, obituary, or coroner’s report.
  • The record in suspense is for a juvenile charged with a misdemeanor adult traffic offense. The subject of the record in suspense was a juvenile at the time of the offense, charged in adult traffic court on a misdemeanor level offense, and fingerprints were not obtained. Documentation includes a copy of the police report, citation and/or complaint and the court order showing the subject was a juvenile at the time of the offense, the offense level was a misdemeanor offense, and the juvenile was charged in adult traffic court.

Is there any way to ensure that we obtain prints before a plea without disrupting or delaying court operations?

The entire criminal records management process is geared toward procuring fingerprints and accurate information as quickly as possible. Since the biggest challenge for taking fingerprints involves Targeted Misdemeanors (especially non-custody citation and complaint/summons-related offenses), the policies and processes around these need to be well defined, integrated, documented and available for all staff involved from law enforcement, prosecution and the courts. These processes should include techniques for:
  • Law enforcement to verify whether fingerprints have been taken and notify the prosecution and court of subjects needing to be fingerprinted.
  • Prosecution and court administration to identify subjects requiring fingerprinting.
  • Sharing of information regarding pending court appearances and fingerprinting requirements prior to the subject’s appearance.

The process should also include the prosecution’s submission of Rule 5.01 motions. Having the motions prepared (possibly even with an Order for Booking & Identification format ready for the judge’s signature) will help ensure compliance with little or no interruption in the court’s flow. Of course, a successful process will include the court’s preparedness to grant such motions and sign the orders as indicated in Minnesota Statutes 299C.10 Subd.1. Prosecution can facilitate this by advising the court ahead of time that such documents will be introduced. From the moment of arrest, citation or complaint through to the last court disposition on an offense, managing criminal history information is a responsibility shared by all the criminal justice partners.

When changes are made to four key identifiers on charging documents by the the prosecutor's office, what’s the best thing to do?

Remember that the four key identifiers on the arrest documentation are to be kept unchanged throughout the process. Also remember that all names and all dates of birth are considered aliases.

If a prosecutor intends to submit charges using identifiers other than those listed on the arrest documentation, they should inform the CAG (controlling agency) as soon as possible. For example:

  • If the prosecutor utilizes a different name on the charge filing because they have determined the person’s legal name, the new name must be added to the arrest information as an alias as soon as possible.
  • If the prosecutor utilizes a different case number it should be researched to determine which case number is accurate and updated accordingly.

Is it possible for me to access all the suspense files for my agency or an agency to whose suspense files I have access?

Yes, via the Criminal History System (CHS) Suspense queue. In the CHS Suspense queue, users automatically have access to suspense records in their county. They may use the facet panel to narrow the search to specific agencies or record types.

Can I view my agency's Livescan fingerprint submission errors and successes?

Authorized users of the Livescan Message Enhancement (LME) application can access a variety of reports and queries to view detailed information on Livescan fingerprint submission errors and successes. To obtain access to this system, please contact the BCA Service Desk.

How do I find out if a subject has already been fingerprinted?

A search of the criminal history record should be performed. The subject has already been fingerprinted if an arrest record appears on the criminal history that matches information contained in your agency’s case file or it is determined an arrest record containing data errors appears on the criminal history. These data errors should be corrected. If no matching arrest record exists, the subject needs to be fingerprinted in accordance with Minnesota Statutes §299C.10.